June 2014 - Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda
The service on this ship was very good. Our room attendant, Gusti, was always around with a pleasant greeting and kept our stateroom in very clean shape. At the restaurants, the service was also very good. No waiting for any of our food or drinks and all were served by very pleasant people. The only waiting you can expect is at restaurants that are inclusive on the cruise. This is just the same as if you go to a restaurant at home without a reservation. They hand you a pager and send you to a bar (but with a complimentary glass of champagne ). This I did not like. This being my 10th cruise, and the first time at free style dining, gave me my opinion that I don't care for the free style dining. You lose the connection you get on other cruises with your favorite wait staff. We weren't able to get seated after the first night with the wait staff we liked so well in the Venetian. The food was mediocre on the ship except for Cagneys Steak House and Bamboo Restaurant which were both fantastic. But, when you pay for a cruise, there didn't used to be paid restaurants and the meals on other lines were all great! The pasta sauce was the most like jarred sauce possible, even at the Italian Restaurant. Surprisingly, they had no night where they served lobster tails in the main restaurants. That was shocking as every cruise I've gone on until now has had that lobster tail night. Both main restaurants were good, the Venetian and Aqua. Very different atmospheres from one another with Venetian giving the classic formal feel and Aqua a more modern contemporary feel. On board they have the Java Cafe (not complimentary), where they have confections made by Carlo's Bakery of the Cake Boss fame. Worth trying if you've never had the confections most definitely, but an example of paying if you really want higher quality. In short, this line gave me the impression that they would serve chain food for the cruise price, where the other lines I've cruised had high quality food everywhere and the specialty restaurants were more quaint in atmosphere as opposed to having to pay extra for a high quality meal. The ship itself is in very good condition and really there are no complaints here. The shows were good quality shows with a nice variety. From a cirque de soliel type of act to second city comedy, the entertainment was comparable to other cruises. Plenty of activities are offered all day everyday, so if someone is bored, it's their own fault. However, again, you pay quite a lot for these games. $30 to go bar hop at 5 bars on board. $20 for a deal or no deal ticket, the cruise direction pushing scratch off tickets for $5 each at every venue, I heard one woman say Bingo tickets were $70 although I did not play so cannot confirm this. The Casino had a mix of slit machines and tables so a nice variety of gambling fun. They had tournaments you could enter, as other ships have had also. As far as Bermuda goes, once and done is my opinion. You don't need more than two days at this very small island with not much to see and expensive prices. Horseshoe Bay Beach is worth experiencing but if you're not a sun worshiper, that's where it stops. Not a lot of historic sites to see at all. We went on a deep sea fishing expedition (not offered through the cruise line) with Reef a Fishing. This was well worth the $100 a person for 4 hours of fishing with guaranteed catch.