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Escape 5/12 to Bermuda – Brief Review – Observations

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This was our first cruise out of Manhattan. We cruised out of NJ twice before. I was looking forward to the sail away along the NYC skyline on the 19th deck.

Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for our sail away.


We parked at the pier and that process was seamless. Well worth it. We arrived at the pier just after 9:45.


We were in a Haven Courtyard Penthouse (H5) on deck 17 (originally booked a SPA Mini Suite – (M9). We bid on this upgrade at $910 PP and we notified 12 day’s prior that our bid was accepted. I also had a bid in for a Haven Spa Suite (H9) on deck 17 at $1210 PP. The morning I got upgraded I increased both bids by $10 and approx. 15 minutes afterwards I was awarded the H5 upgrade and the other bid expired. At the time there were 4 H9’s available and 9 H5’s available.


Once we were on the second floor of the terminal, we made or way to the haven lounge where we checked in. After about a 15 minute wait we were escorted on the ship. We were in the Haven lounge by 10:45.


Since we lost our Thermal Spa access on the upgrade, I paid for two passes for the week. This turned out to be a good choice as we had bad weather the first few day’s. We also did sail away in the SPA which worked as you can see both sides at the same time. The Thermal SPA was great. The therapy pool was the best.  


Restaurants we went to:


Cagney’s – Great atmosphere but my steak was basically gristle and fat. Probably worst steak I had on a Cruise.

La Cucina – They changed the menu since we last eat here on the Star a few years ago. We didn’t care for the menu change but the food was alright.

Moderno – Good food. We ate here our last night but we were stuffed from the prior 6 nights of cruising. We should have made this one of our first nights so I could have enjoyed it more.

Haven – Had breakfast here most days, which was good each time. We had dinner here 3 times. Same menu each time but it worked for just 3 times we went.

Margaritaville - We had free lunch here on the first day which was nice.  One disappointment was that it was only open for lunch each day. It closed around 5/6 each night.


Overall, it was a nice cruise. Weather was crappy but nothing we can do about that.  The crew was great, no complaints there. You definitely can smell smoke around deck 7 from the casino as you walk through. I went to the casino each night and played in the non smoking section and it really didn’t bother me much.


Outside areas:


The waterfront: is a great idea and we enjoyed that a few times.


Pool decks:  well this is where NCL screwed up. Although we were Haven, I did venture out once in a while to go to an outdoor bar to watch a little of the PGA tour. Both Bars by the pool are “Smoking Areas” and it was overwhelming. One of them should have been non-smoking. Also, there is just not enough room for the amount of people on the ship. Very small pool with little entertainment.


Spice H20: Went here a few times and was a nice area.


19th deck bar: I found this little hidden Gem. Never crowded when I went and ended going there a few times to catch up on the PGA. This is the bar which is right to the right before you enter the Vibe. The Vibe Bartenders service this bar. I got to speaking to one of the Vibe’s bartenders, her name was Febry. Great personality. She gave me a tour of the Vibe and told me to comeback tomorrow and she would let me spend the day there. I did not however because we were in Bermuda and spent most of the day off the ship. She did mention to me that that have not sold out of the Vibe passes since they raised the prices (I think about a month and ½ ago).


Haven: What’s not to like. This made the whole trip. Not one compliant. We spent most of our time up on the 19th deck (indoor and out). I think NCL made one mistake on the Haven by not having a outdoor bar up on the 19th deck although the two gentleman servers were always around to get us anything we wanted.  


We did know prior to sailing that this was an Irish Music cruise which we were looking forward to however all the events were Private which was a bummer. I would have paid to see some of the shows. One Irish band did play by the pool on the last day which was nice.


I guess that's about it...

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Thanks for the review! 

It sounds like you had a good time despite the spotty weather.

We are on this cruise in August and cannot wait.  We expect the "invitation to bid" on Thursday when we are 80 days out.  

Did you "tweak" your bid often or just that once? 

Did you forgo the Spa or did you invest another $200pp to get the Thermal suite access once you moved from the M9 to the H5?

We are trying to weigh those decisions as we prep our Haven bid.

Edited by JandC_Cruising

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I paid for the SPA. Well worth it. It was a little more expensive buying it on the ship (I think $20 more PP) but I had no choice. Once I got the upgrade the Spa passes were already sold out for online sales.

I did tweak the bids a few times. I was watching inventory for both categories weekly. My bid for the H5 was $300 PP less then my bid for the H9 to cover the additional cost. I was actually surprised to get that one.  

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How was the weather in Bermuda?  Is it warm enough there this time of year?

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We were on the same cruise!  While the weather was not the best for the sea days, Bermuda was great. 


I agree with your assessment of Moderno and Cagney's.   Moderno was excellent, Both the food and the service were excellent.  My daughter, who lived in Brasil for a year, gave it a thumbs up.  Like yours, my steak at Cagneys was not the best.  Service wasn't the best either.  From our point of view, they weren't staffed for the amount of seats they were covering.


Ill be posting a mini-review as well, once I catch up with everything....



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