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Old May 1st, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Default NCL Crown 4/25-4/30 Bermuda Review

What a great trip!
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Thank you for your review...I will be going to Bermuda for 7 days out of NY on the Crown in July. Unfortunately, I had no say in the planning, but we are going with a big group of people and are going to try to have a good time!
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandd
Thank you for your review...I will be going to Bermuda for 7 days out of NY on the Crown in July. Unfortunately, I had no say in the planning, but we are going with a big group of people and are going to try to have a good time!
You will.... we went with a party of 5 and it was still fun, despite all the mediocre things. The day after our return most of us wished we were still on the boat!

When you go, seek out bartender Maddi (a guy) and bar server Amanda. They are the best! Friendly & fun!
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: NCL Crown 4/25-4/30 Bermuda Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovelietraveler
I traveled the 4/25-4/30 Bermuda cruise (from Philly port) on NCL Crown. It's hard to find info on the Crown, so here's my review for anyone interested:

Day 1 (Embark): Embarkation was a breeze. Simple, painless, well organized. Three in my party of five had passports, two had birth certificates. Everything was fine and easy. We boarded 3PM. Ship set sail 8PM.

After sailing, we ate dinner at the Yacht Club Buffet. General atmosphere was one of a cafeteria. Food was mediocre--not the elegant spread or delicious meals I expected. I could've easily gotten better food at home. In general, servers were friendly and polite, but not exceptionally attentive.

Seas were rocky that night, and many people got sick. We sat in the Top of the Crown bar, where we listened to a musical duo who seemed to know about 20 songs only. The DJ's music was definitely geared to the older crowd, though the occasional modern song brought out younger dancers.

Day 2 (At sea): Lots of folks sick today. Weather is just so-so, not sunny or hot enough to lay in the sun, but nice enough to sit outside in a sweat/tee-shirt and jeans. Breakfast was, again, at the Yacht Buffet. General meal included made-to-order omelettes and waffles, roasted potatoes, cereal & milk, muffins & toast, grits, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and french toast, plus fruit, jelly, etc.

We notice today that smoking areas are not really noted, and non-smokers might easily suffer while walking around the ship.

Afternoon activities include things like Bingo, trivia games, etc. Not a whole lot going on--seems to be one or two activities at a time and no more. There wasn't a lot that appealed to us (30-40 years old crowd). We mostly sat around and talked.

We ate dinner at Seven Seas Restaurant. Although the atmosphere was more elegant, and food presentation was nice, the actual taste of the food wasn't any better than that offered in the buffet--with less variety. Server was nice but got my "special" order wrong (no cheese). Dining room was tight. No waiting in line.

Drinks at the Lido bar that night, where we meet up with our favorite bar tender and cocktail waitress. We learn there schedule so we can visit the bar during their hours, since they are extremely pleasant and nice. Definitely the two best staff on board--the only two who went above and beyond the "polite" scale.

Seas calm by night and everything is smooth sailing.

Day 3 (land in Bermuda): We landed early. Good thing, because we were on shore only a short time. Weather was nice: sunny but not hot. Bermuda has a lot to offer in terms of beaches. Shop prices are expensive, and it's mostly the same ol' crap.

Dinner at the Yacht Club buffet again. Mediocre food, mediocre atmosphere.

Again, we watched the (bad) duo

Day 4 (leave Bermuda): Had just a few hours to shop this morning in Bermuda, and then we set sail again. Breakfast at Yacht Club buffet. Lunch at Seven Seas restaurant, where I get the exact same burger & fries I can get in the buffet with less hassle, less wait.

Weather starts out nice but turns rainy and choppy by evening.

Played a few games, like trivia and Scrabble tournament. Nothing seems to be very organized at all. Chocoholic's buffet is, at best, mediocre. Lovely to look at, average in taste.

Drinks on the deck during the day, listened to the (not great) duo in Top of the Crown at night. Dinner was at the specialty restaurant Pasta Cafe. Food was almost exactly the same as the food at the buffet, though presentation was better. Service was mildly rude and abrupt. Portions small. All in all, I preferred the buffet even though it has a "cafeteria" atmosphere. We went back to the Lido bar for more drinks.

Seas got super choppy and crazy (hurricane speed winds!) at night. Never got a single announcement that it was "normal, and nothing the boat couldn't handle." Lots of people were anxious and worried... something reassuring from the Captain might have helped.

Day 5 (at sea): Water is still very choppy and most people are sick. I asked a crew member if she'd ever seen such bad waters before, and she said "No, this is the worst I've ever been in." Thanks for the reassuring response, honey. I later find out that the majority of this crew is new and has only been with NCL for a month.

Rainy and windy outside. In fact, side decks are closed because of wind. Spent most of the in the casino. Dealers ranged from very friendly to barely polite.

Dinner at the Yacht Club buffet again. By this point, many people are either extremely sick or starting to feel better. Food was, again, just ok. Finished with a drink at the Top of the Crown.

Day 5 (Disembark): Chose Express Disembarkation, which wasn't very 'express' at all. But it was relatively painless. Quick breakfast at (where else?) Yacht Club buffet and we were on our way.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

FOOD: Average in terms of taste. Below average presentation/atmosphere in Yacht Club buffet. Nice presentation/atmosphere in specialty restaurants and Seven Seas, but less variety. I kept waiting for the wonderful ethnic dishes people rave about. Instead, every night for dinner there was white rice with a vegetarble mixed in (a different veggie each night, but still...), some type of fried fish, some type of pork and some type of grilled chicken. Sure.... the seasonings might have been a bit different, but, for the most part, it was exactly the same. Sometimes something special (Seafood Newburg or Indian curry, for example), was mixed in. But nothing great. I wanted variety. I ate roasted potatoes, grits and baked beans for breakfast EVERY SINGLE morning. I mean... come on. Is a little variety that hard to create?

The late-night "snacks" buffet, which ran from about 11PM to 1AM, was horrible disappointing. Little mini sandwiches, some fruit, maybe some quiche, and some cookies. Totally lame.

Even the specialty buffets--outdoor BBQs, "party buffets," and chocolate buffet--were disappointing in their lack of quality and variety. Turns out a "pasta buffet" means a little station where you choose from two types of noodles, two types of sauces, and you can add things like bits of ham or onion. Woo hoo.

No lobster, filet mignon, or all the other things people rave about. Not that I cared (I'm a vegetarian), but the other people in my party did.

There was rarely much of a wait or line, and we could linger at the table as long as we wanted. One of the benefits of freestyle dining.

They also seemed to close things up earlier than promised. The Daily would say that a buffet was open until 11PM.... but if we got there at 10:30PM, it was already over and torn down.

24-hour free room service was utilized by some of our group that got sick. They thought it was worthwhile and a nice perk.

STAFF: Polite and friendly, though some got a little short or abrupt with us. We found one bartender and one cocktail waitress we loved, and basically picked bars based on their schedule. They helped make our cruise a lot more enjoyable.

SERVICE: I really believed they should have made an announcement when things got really rough. Lots of folks were worried, and something reassuring might have made them feel better. Many folks felt that, though the weather was outside of NCL's control, they should have offered a special or bargain (like a discounted drink) after the bad weather because so many folks were sick. We had two full days of rough seas and, on a cruise as short as this one, that's practically half your vacation.

ROOMS: Our steward was nice, though not exceptionally outgoing. He did provide us with two towel animals during the trip, which was fun. The beds were hard as rocks (heard other passengers complain about that, too). Otherwise, it was a cruise ship room. Not much to it. Lots of creaking during rough seas... one night I barely slept a wink.

ACTIVITIES: Not nearly enough, especially since so many days it was not nice enough to be outside on the deck. Folks needed something to do. Too many that were sales pitches or geared to the older crowds (make-a-luggage-tag craft class, for example). More interactive things that would have brought the passengers together would have been fun, especially on a ship this small, where it was easy to get to know people. They under-utilized the Stardust Lounge, where they could have done things like Jeopardy, etc.


Overall, a nice trip but would never sail this boat again. Not even sure I'll cruise again, as I think I could get a better bargain by vacationing in a different manner. Was terribly disappointed in the food and the activities offered. Although I liked freestyle dining, I'm not sure how I feel about NCL's organization, activities and general level of service.
As for bargains, I would disagree with you: I think cruising is a very economical way to see a lot in a short period of time. Do you have any idea how expenisve Bermuda is normally by the time you fly over, rent a hotel room and eat out 3 times a day. You may have had a little better experience if you hadn't eaten so many meals in the buffet? As for not cruising again, there are a couple things to take into consideration: 1-cruising isn't for everyone and you might be the type that would enjoy something else more: 2-for the most part the ships that do Bermuda are the smaller and usualy the older ships thus you do not get a really fun picture as to what cruising is all about on these ships. You remark about your room steward not being outgoing, I have cruised 20 times and never found one that was; their job is to serve you and remain professional while keeping your cabin cleaned up; the towel animals are an extra bonus.

Reading your comments, it sounds like you really didn't know what to expect. As for not enough activities, well this was not the fault of the cruise line: when the weather is bad not much can be done about it. Rough seas are very common when cruising to Bermuda especially this time of year. That is one reason we have never done this itinerary.

Don't let your bad experience ruin you from trying cruising again, but next time pick a 7 day cruise, not a 5. The longer the cruise, normally the better the food and everything else. I did read a review on another board a few minutes ago from someone who had cruised the Crown the same time you did and had a totally different take on everything. They thought the food was fine and the entertainment outstanding.

NMNita
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:23 AM
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I am leaving philly for Bermuda on Crown on 14th of May and I almost sried reading your review and after all you said
"The day after our return most of us wished we were still on the boat! "
???? What ta*****???
I almost jumped!
My advice...when writing review as extensive as yours next time, palease! think of impact it will have on people. If you care that is. I am so upset and confused now, thanks.

NMNITA, where is a 'nice' review? Please, point me there before I cancelled a trip for 14!!!
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:37 AM
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TLoony: I gave what I felt was a fair and reasonable assessment of the trip from MY perspective. Sure... we all wished we were back on the boat. Having someone wait on you, clean up after you, etc. is always relaxing, and most of us dreaded going back to work. Plus, the group I went with was fun, and we would have had a good time no matter where we had been.

Nmnita: It's possible that I am just not the cruising type. But the indoor activities were limited, not the outdoor activities. They definitely appealed to an older crowd. (Possible the positive review you read was by someone who enjoys BINGO and isn't up at 6PM). As for the food, I heard numerous complaints from second-time and experienced cruisers--both among my party and fellow passengers we met. Believe me, this complaint isn't only mine. (However, to be fair, someone else in my party labeled the food as "great." Which goes to show, it's all a matter of perspective.)

We did say among ourselves that if we ever cruise again, we'd choose a bigger boat, calmer seas and a longer time. <shrug> But I don't know if it'll happen.

As for anyone who uses my review as a reason to cancel their trip... remember: I am just one person. And everyone has a different perspective on things. I hated the fact that I felt "trapped" on the boat during our "at sea" days, but other people didn't have a problem with that. This is just my opinion, folks.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:12 AM
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TLoony --

Please don't cancel your cruise for 14 people based on one person's review. I haven't been on the Majesty, but sailed twice on the NCL Sea, which also got horrible reviews. I was panicked before we left, but we had a GREAT time. I was thrilled when they extended her stay last year and we were able to do a return trip.

If you read any of the other message boards, all the lines are having negative comments about the food. I'm reserving judgement until we go in November, but it isn't just NCL. It's my guess, as an accountant, that they've got to help pay for those horrible increases in fuel costs by cutting back on some of the other costs.

As far as onboard activities, I'm the kinds who doesn't want every minute planned out for me. We usually play bingo once during the week (yes, it's expensive), go to most of the trivia contests, and enjoy seeing the other passengers participate in karaoke at night. But mostly, I just enjoy relaxing on the deck with a good book or cross-word puzzle. If your group enjoys it, stick a few card games or small board games in your luggage, and make your own entertainment. Our first cruise, we were traveling with my sisters, their husbands, and some friends. We spent almost every night in the library playing games after watching the show.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Ute points out some of the positives: no you will not be kept busy 24/7 or in the case of the OP 24/5, but there are trivia which seems to appeal to young and old alike, we had families, retired people, 20 and 30s somethings and combinations of the above playing; there is Bingo which appeals to all ages and as Ute fan said there is a library with not only books but all sorts of board games. Most of the ships we have been on recently have golf clinics at least once or twice, if not everyday. If by lack of activities the OP means party type of fun and pool games,etc I think Carnival would be the best choice. As a TA that would be the line I certainly would recommend. Another activity that seems to appeal to many and is available on all ships now is the Martini clinic; again this attracts people of all ages and is a great ice breaker (pardon the pun) Tloony, check the "other board" if I can find it today and have time (we leave for Vegas early tomorrow) I will tell you exactly where to look. I know you will have a good time. Most who cruise love it, for those who don't enjoy the experience or the ship they have chosen, they just simply didn't know what to expect. Nothing is perfect, yes, the food isn't quite what it was even a year ago, but overall you will have a great time. The smaller ships actually can be very appealing to many as they are more intimate. I see both sides of the coin here. NMnita
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:31 AM
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OP removed the post...it is add and funny!

What is the 'other board?' cruisecritics? All they have is 2005 reviews. Some good, yes but old.
Have a nice LV trip. We won in December on my husband's 50th!
Sending you money vibes}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}(tresure island)
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLoony
OP removed the post...it is add and funny!

What is the 'other board?' cruisecritics? All they have is 2005 reviews. Some good, yes but old.
Have a nice LV trip. We won in December on my husband's 50th!
Sending you money vibes}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}(tresure island)
Thanks, I intend on getting very rich: of course I play mostly penny and nickel slots so my intentions are a bit out of line with reality: oh well, maybe I will become just a little rich. yes, the reviews were the older ones but also look under NCL and try to find a couple where they are asking questions about the Crown. One of them mentioned what a great time they had last week. There is one thread that does talk about security being unorganized because customs/immigration didn't check everyone's passport when they arrived back in Philly. NMnita

be sure and let us know how everything goes with you. Poor OP didn't need to pull his post; I don't think I have ever seen that happen. Maybe he just realized what he expected and what is reality are two different things or he couldn't stand getting bashed as I am sure he saw our comments as doing. I believe we were just trying to explain the difference in large and small vessels, the difference between cruising to Bermuda and other distinations and adding there are lines that are better for some but as for being entertained this is not something the ships are expected to do 24 hours a day nor can they do much about weather related issues that cause us to spend more time inside than out. NMNita
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
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nmnita,
if you know...I am worry now about one thing - rough seas because of my 11y/old. Is May known as rough month? When I booked I think I checked and it wasn't. Oh, well, I put my quarter into machine (I was waiting for my husband and very tired in Treasure Island) and all of a sudden it went nuts! I've got $1200...just for waiting.
When you don't care things are happening...my husband was 'getting it' in every casino he went and it was his first time playing slote (he like back jack) and he is now hooked on slots! Just change 1 letter and it would be disaster.... Best of luck!
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Hi Nita,

Quote:
Thanks, I intend on getting very rich: of course I play mostly penny and nickel slots so my intentions are a bit out of line with reality: oh well, maybe I will become just a little rich.
Wasn't that you who won millions on the nickel slots???
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern
Hi Nita,

Quote:
Thanks, I intend on getting very rich: of course I play mostly penny and nickel slots so my intentions are a bit out of line with reality: oh well, maybe I will become just a little rich.
Wasn't that you who won millions on the nickel slots???
No, but I did win $290.00 on nickels on the Sun in about 15 minutes. We won't discuss the rest of the casino experience.\\\\
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