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errie6

Experienced Cruiser first time in Bermuda - which ship/itinerary?

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Hello,

 

So I've heard great things about Bermuda and wanted to hit up this special place during Summer 2020 (my son is out of school during this time in Los Angeles area). Right now I have two choices on different cruise lines and was hoping I could get feedback. Airfare is about the same to both places, so that's not a factor.

 

1. Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas in late July - 7 night Best of Bermuda from Cape Liberty with two overnights in Hamilton and one overnight St. George Island

 

2. Norwegian Encore (new ship with lots of entertainment) in early June - 7 night Bermuda from New York City with two overnights in Kings Wharf. Overall cruise is about $650 more expensive on this one. Is it worth it?

 

Please any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you everyone!

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Door number 3-- Oceania Insignia sailing July 25, Aug 1, or Aug 8. 7 day cruise from New York, 4 days on the island docking at both St Georges and downtown Hamilton. 

 

We've done Celebrity, Cunard, HAL, and NCL to Bermuda and this was by far the most enjoyable way to do it. Insignia looks like a similar itinerary to the Empress OTS you are looking at but its a vastly nicer ship. 

 

If its only between those two I would pick Empress with the extra time and stops in St George/Hamilton over  he monster Encore any day.

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3 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

Door number 3-- Oceania Insignia sailing July 25, Aug 1, or Aug 8. 7 day cruise from New York, 4 days on the island docking at both St Georges and downtown Hamilton. 

 

We've done Celebrity, Cunard, HAL, and NCL to Bermuda and this was by far the most enjoyable way to do it. Insignia looks like a similar itinerary to the Empress OTS you are looking at but its a vastly nicer ship. 

 

If its only between those two I would pick Empress with the extra time and stops in St George/Hamilton over  he monster Encore any day.

Thank you so much! I've never done Oceania cruise lines and the last one we did was on MSC and had a horrible experience and therefore we decided to stick to cruise lines we know like Royal, Carnival, Disney...What did you like most about Oceania that stood out? How's the food, entertainment? Or why did you say it was the most enjoyable?

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5 minutes ago, errie6 said:

What did you like most about Oceania that stood out? How's the food, entertainment? Or why did you say it was the most enjoyable?

Food was some of the uniformly better we've had at sea-- approaching what you get on luxury lines like Seabourn. All speciality restaurants are included. The ship is like a little floating country club-- no lines, no crowds at the pool etc. Staterooms are all well done with high end fittings, very nice toiletries, and luxury bedding. Nice things like internet and beverage packages included. Very little nickel and diming like we've experienced on RCCL. 

 

Ship is 700 passengers so this is a totally different experience that you will get with the 6000 passengers on Encore or even the 2000 on Empress. On this type of a trip the emphasis is on Bermuda itself and being docked in St George and Hamilton you had a chance to see a lot of the island without having to take a ton of ferries like you would from the Dockyard (where bigger ships dock). Insignia was a very comfortable and elegant floating hotel while we were there. 

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1 minute ago, princeton123211 said:

Food was some of the uniformly better we've had at sea-- approaching what you get on luxury lines like Seabourn. All speciality restaurants are included. The ship is like a little floating country club-- no lines, no crowds at the pool etc. Staterooms are all well done with high end fittings, very nice toiletries, and luxury bedding. Nice things like internet and beverage packages included. Very little nickel and diming like we've experienced on RCCL. 

 

Ship is 700 passengers so this is a totally different experience that you will get with the 6000 passengers on Encore or even the 2000 on Empress. On this type of a trip the emphasis is on Bermuda itself and being docked in St George and Hamilton you had a chance to see a lot of the island without having to take a ton of ferries like you would from the Dockyard (where bigger ships dock). Insignia was a very comfortable and elegant floating hotel while we were there. 

Thank you! You did a great job explaining and now I can see why. Hmm, okay now you opened up a door 3 or a new door 2. hahahha

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1 hour ago, errie6 said:

 

So I've heard great things about Bermuda and wanted to hit up this special place during Summer 2020 (my son is out of school during this time in Los Angeles area). Right now I have two choices on different cruise lines and was hoping I could get feedback. Airfare is about the same to both places, so that's not a factor.

 

 

 

How old is your son? 

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24 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

How old is your son? 

Hi there, he's going to be 9. He loves doing beach stuff.

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1 hour ago, errie6 said:

Hi there, he's going to be 9. He loves doing beach stuff.


Empress would be ok but NCL Encore is going to have a lot more for him. If I were taking a nine year old I would pick Encore over Empress. Don’t even consider Oceania. I was on Oceania to Bermuda in August and there is nothing for children. Saw two children onboard and both were pre school. Any Bermuda itinerary is good for beach access. 

Edited by Charles4515

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3 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:


Empress would be ok but NCL Encore is going to have a lot more for him. If I were taking a nine year old I would pick Encore. Don’t even consider Oceania. I was on Oceania to Bermuda in August and there is nothing for children. Saw two children onboard and both were pre school. Any Bermuda itinerary is good for beach access. 

Thank you! Yes activities for children is a big plus. I know RC normally has kids clubs and pools, but yes Encore now has car racing, virtual reality, and laser tag. Ok thank you for the feedback. I do like how RC stops at 2 ports in Bermuda for 5 days or 3 overnights as opposed to NCL 3 days one port only with 2 overnights. Hmmmm...

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I would take the Empress because she docks in Hamilton, not the dockyard. But, with a kid, the Encore might be a better choice.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

I would take the Empress because she docks in Hamilton, not the dockyard. But, with a kid, the Encore might be a better choice.

 

 

Thank u!

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I am glad you posted this since I live in NJ, and debating on the two cruises you listed.  I have been on both cruise lines.  I have no kids so I am leaning towards the smaller ship of Royal Caribbean.  I have a friend that did a Bermuda family cruise last summer and she loved Norwegian with all the activities for the kids.  

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I think the real question you need to ask yourself is which is more important-maximizing your Bermuda time and experience or the ship experience. Empress will give you a much better and longer Bermuda experience. If you want lots of ship activities and more bells and whistles then go with Norwegian.

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Thank u! We went with Empress and experiencing Bermuda fully! Thank u everyone! 

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