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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Default 1st Timer - Spirit - Boston to Bermuda

I was thinking I might want to take a cruise to celebrate my 40th birthday later this year. As my husband and I live in MA, I was considering Boston to Bermuda. (There are no kids.)

Can anyone recommend or critique this cruise? Is it good for first timers? What should I know?

Any other tips or info you can offer is also appreciated, especially since we've never been on a cruise.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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LUCK YOU.. and us.. living in MA and being able to drive to Black Falcon Pier to pick up the Spirit..Although we have not cruised on the Spirit (next year) we have cruised to Bermuda from Boston mor t han a dozen times (yes, your reading it right). I would highly recommend any time from the last week in May to mid-June before the kids are out of school or the first three weeks in September. What I like about this cruise is that you leave on a Friday..and spend three complete days or more in Bermuda rather than "if this is today it must be St. Maartin"..lol. There are lots of t hings to do.. you can buy a bus/ferry pass and explore the beaches, St, George, shop in Hamilton.. and use the ship as your hotel..There is nothing quite Bermuda..the people, it's only 19 miles wide and things to see and do.. and oh yes.. our favorite.. Swizzle Inn.. with rum punch, fish sandwiches and listening to the Bermuda Symphony (the ambulances) rescuing idiots who use the mopeds..lol. and as we like to say.. Have a Bermudaful Day..
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Old January 17th, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Hi, have sailed on the Spirit twice once on a 9 day south out of Miami and 2 years ago out of New Orleans to mexico, belize, and guatamala. Both times we had an
excellent cruise, our cabin stewards were the best never lacked for anything just asked and we recieved. Just remember that the ship is older and was designed for the oriental market so she has an oriental theme. They were redoing all of the beds last time we sailed so you should have new matress and bedding by now. The food we found to be very good but that's just us and we eat anything. Anyway have a fun relaxing cruise .
cruisemama
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Default More questions

Thanks for the info so far. Now for a couple more questions.

Will we see the prices drop any between now and the time we want to cruise?

I'm pretty set on the July 23rd sailing. I know that someone said that it's better to avoid the summer months because of all the families and kids sailing, and while that sounds ideal to me, my birthday is July 26th and I really want to be cruising on my birthday. So the date is pretty solid.

Because it's a summer cruise, are we less likely to see better prices or special deals?

How far in advance should we book?

Do you recommend any particular travel agent/agency to get the best deal? (If you can recommend, why do you recommend? And if there is someone I should stay away from, I'm happy to hear about that too.)

What added expenses could we have that I'm not thinking about? (We're not drinkers, so alcohol isn't a concern.)

Thank you!!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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During the summer months...mid June to the beginning of Sept. the ship is loaded with kids.avoid it like the plague. I doubt prices will drop.. BUT the weekend of February 20th there is a huge travel show in the Seaport.... and NCL and allthe other cruise lines will be there and prices will be as good as it gets... so recommend you go and try to wheel and deal with them.. I find the prices for the Spirit high, because it is a popular cruise and is always packed they tell me.. As for cruise agents...again.. go to the travel show..
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:24 PM
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This cruise, seems to hardly ever go on "sale," it's so popular around here!
I used to go to the travel show when it was open to many travel agencys, then, it just became the vacation outlet show. At that point I lost my taste for it, Has it changed? They always had a very active Bermuda booth there...

Click on our group cruise page, and give the agent coordinates them a call. many of us here use this agency ....
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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I agree with Parrot Mom! I'm very happy that you're having a "milestone" birthday (yea!), but you really do not want to sail in July unless you enjoy being overun by children! I'm not saying they're bad children, but they're everywhere !

You won't see any prices go down for summer sailings .

I know you said you're set on July 23, but I'd suggest that you put off your BD celebration until September. The children are back in school and the prices are generally lower.

If you're sure you're going to book July 23, book now for the best deals.

We can't recommend TA's here, but I'd suggest you check with an established TA who's a Cruise Expert in your area.

The travel show is a great idea! Maybe you can find a TA you like who can give you a nice price on whatever cruise you decide to take.

Added expenses can include tips ($10.00 pp/pd), shore excursions, soda's (or alcoholic drinks), pay restaurants on the ship, souvenirs, etc..

Hope you have a wonderful cruise!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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Friday nights is for travel agents and Saturday and sunday is open to the public. Going way back when it was at the Bayside Center.. and even now... how many times have we had a major snow storm that weekend.. Yes in this economy the cruise line especially don't take as much space,but they all have a major presence... in this year aisle "600" is my aim..lol..Not only is V.O. very active, but you can find other travel agents there selling.One year we were lucky to win a $500.00 gift certificate to any inn in New England..Many of the countries like Aruba have a major presentation what with dancing and costumed girls..If you check out the list of exhibitors you will see some unusual cruise lines, countries looking for tourists, there is usually a presentation and a cooking show..not to mention Busch Gardens has their animals there, but Julie hasn't been there the last few years (she is/was on the Leno show) Its not that far from you...and be there early...before it gets to be wall to wall. One year we came with two cruises in mind with all the paperwork, the prices, etc.etc. and Celebrity made a great pitch and wooed us mightily and that's how we booked our first Celebrity cruise on the Century and were hooked.. We might even get to meet
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Thanks for all the tips and info. Looks like we're going to forego planning a cruise for this year and find something else to do for my birthday instead.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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We have been on the Spirit twice. I love that ship. We have done the Boston to Bermuda cruise three times, twice on the Majesty and once on the Spirit.

We always cruise in the summer and bring our kids so we do not mind the kids on our cruise. Our kids are a bit older, now 12 and 15, and are not allowed to roam or run around the ship! We have seen lots of families cruise in the summer.

In 2011, the Dawn will be doing the Boston to Bermuda cruises and the Gem will be doing the NYC to Bermuda runs so there are some bigger ships coming if that is more your style.

I will be going to the travel show next weekend. There can be some good perks and discounts offered for cruises so if you have a chance to go you might find something for your birthday celebration. My DW has her birthday in August so we try to cruise her birthday week. This year we are on the Pearl to Alaska.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:38 AM
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School should still be in Session on June 4------so hopefully not to many kids on board then.

Barb:-D
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Old February 14th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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It is very unlikely you are going to see much of a drop in prices, summer sailing go out rather full because of summer vacation. I have clients sailing on HAL to Alaska in June, they were hoping for a rate drop, instead the cabins have gone up $250 per person. Thank goodness they are booked. I have a few cabins sailing NCL in early June, same story...

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Old February 21st, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Hi Kelleigh,
I've been to Bermuda for only about 28 years, so I think I know a little about the island! I'll start with the 'not so good news' so to speak!! There are 3 docks on the island, St. George's, Hamilton, and Dockyards. You will probably be going to Dockyards for a majority of your stay. During the past 2 years they have added addidional docking area, so that up to 3 ships can be docked there at once.
I've seen the frustration of guests off the ships not knowing exactly how to get around the island once they've arrived. Now, I know your cruise director can give you the highlights of the island, but getting from A to B can be frustrating, and I'd like to help you if I can.
Getting on a public bus is cheap and a fun way to see the island. They run regularly from Dockyards to Hamilton, and it's about a 40 minute run. If you're not in a real hurry, it's a fun way to see the island and not worry about being on a scooter (which brings me to the second point!). As an experienced Bermuda rider (as well as owning a Harley here in Kansas City), I would NOT recommend you rent one, for a few reasons. I do not mean to insult you in any way, but you're driving on the LEFT, and not the right in Bermuda, which can take a bit getting used to. Even with a map and a GPS, you may get frustrated getting around the small island (only 21 miles total). The other easy alternative is high speed ferry which literally is at the dock once you walk off the ship and look for the signs. The times are posted on a sign, and if you can obtain a ferry schedule BEFORE you dock, that will be easier for you! Again, you will be 'competing' with 2500+ other guests to get from A to B, and the high speed ferry is an easy way to get to Hamilton (a 35 minute ride).
I have several other recommendations I'd like to make, but I'd like tohear from you with any specific questions you may have. My wife and l love the island, and I'd like to share my experience with you. I hope to hear from you!
Mike
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Hi Kelligh,
I've been going to Bermuda for only about 30 years, so I think I know the island pretty well! The island is beautiful that time of year, and if you're looking for beaches, Horseshoe Bay is my favorite to visit. Getting aroound is easier by ferry or bus, and unless you're an experience biker (motorcyclist!) I would not recommend renting a bike, even though it's a very easy way to get around the island. They drive on the LEFT there, and getting used to traffic signs, etc. may be a bit frustrating. Stick with the bus/ferry/taxi to get you from A to B.
Hamilton is the biggest city on the island, and you can get a ferry from Dockyards directly to Hamilton. You may want to get a bus/ferry schedule before hand to find out how often the busses and ferries run.
Do let me know if you have any more sepcific questions, and I'd be more then happy to respond to your request. You'll love the island!

Cheers,

Mike
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