BERMUDA, June 24, 2017 — Every Friday afternoon at 4 pm, Norwegian Caribbean Line (NCL) sets sail from Boston to Bermuda with the Norwegian Dawn. And every Tuesday at approximately 5 pm, she returns to Massachusetts where the cycle begins again.
There are two types of sea-going cruisers (as opposed to river cruisers) in the world; those who love to be on the water and those who don’t.
Veteran cruisers can also be broken down into smaller categories such as devotees of a single line such as NCL, lovers of certain ships, fans of cruising in general and destination cruisers.
Plus, there are three basic types of cruises, and it is important to know the differences before you book.
First, there are beach cruises that sail throughout the Caribbean, Bermuda and other sun-drenched ports of call. For the most part, these cruises appeal to younger passengers and are generally 4 to 7 days in length.
Scenic cruises sail to places like Alaska, Hawaii, Africa and other destinations that can be as enjoyable by ship or land. Ships often provide a sense of security for people who have a spirit of adventure but prefer the perceived comforts of a ship.
Most of the travelers in this category are seniors which mean the onboard entertainment will generally be less active and the ship will be asleep before midnight.
And finally, the third category is destination cruises which include itineraries through the Greek Islands, the Baltic or the Mediterranean and other bucket list destinations. These ships are usually somewhere in between in the age category and tend, overall, to be more international.
These ships are usually somewhere in between in the age category and tend, overall, to be more international.
First, the most important thing is to decide which category of cruise best suits your lifestyle.
With that in mind, there are a number of other things to consider before sailing out on the trip of a lifetime. For example, do you want to be at sea for most of the trip or would your rather be in port? Does the point of embarkation make a difference? Consider the order in which things matter to you; food, entertainment, shore excursions, the size of the ship, length of the cruise and size of the staterooms.
Speaking of staterooms – above water level, or with a balcony? The front of the ship or the back. It’s always a good idea to look at a map of the ship before you choose your cabin.
Cruisers can save money by choosing an inside cabin as opposed to one with a sea view or a balcony.
If you sail from Boston, New York, Charleston, Los Angeles, Miami or any other American port, keep in mind that you are still departing from the United States and, therefore, are not getting the benefit of at least one extra port.
If that is important to you, consider sailing from San Juan or Mexico for a Caribbean cruise, or choose from a port in Europe, Asia, Africa or South America in order to enjoy the benefits of one or two different destinations.
While this may not sound like important at first, select cruises visit no more than one port each day. Many Greek cruises, for example, often push two ports into some of their daily outings. The problem with multiple ports is that there may not be enough time to see and enjoy the port beyond a quick perusal. Remember that a four-hour excursion to Mykonos includes the time it takes to disembark and re-embark leaving limited opportunities for sightseeing.
If you do two islands on the same day, there is also transit time at sea to reach the second destination. It is important to not only know the schedules, and the amount of time you will actually have off the ship, but also to make sure you sign up well in advance for activities like sailing, or scuba diving. They can fill up fast and you might not be able to join the activity at the last minute.
In that regard, cruising to Bermuda may just be one of the most ideal cruise itineraries going. NCL’s Norwegian Dawn sails on Friday afternoon at 4 pm and arrives at the Naval Dockyard in Bermuda by 1 pm on Sunday. That allows passengers two days at sea to get to know the ship and what activities most appeal to anyone’s particular lifestyle.
NCL’s Norwegian Dawn sails on Friday afternoon at 4 pm and arrives at the Naval Dockyard in Bermuda by 1 pm on Sunday. That allows passengers two days at sea to get to know the ship and what activities most appeal to anyone’s particular lifestyle.
The Dawn remains in port from Sunday until early evening on Tuesday with ample short excursions, easy access to the ship and more than enough time to explore the entire island.
The final two days are again at sea allowing time to relax and enjoy what cruising is all about – relaxation, good food and fun!.
Shipboard activities are in abundance and there are an excellent variety and choice of restaurants.
Though the ship is large, capacity approximately 2,000 with a crew of 1,000, it is well designed to accommodate the numbers without feeling overwhelmed by an ocean of people.
There are some negatives, however, and these are important for travelers on a budget. NCL charges for all drinks including soft drinks and refills. Cocktails are expensive but not exorbitant. Some cruise packages are all inclusive for onboard food and drink.
Another thing to check before you book.
Internet services are overpriced. Furthermore, if you have difficulty with access once you have logged on, the clock is ticking all the time you are trying to link to the net.
Another service to beware of is the spa. Massages and spa treatments are also nearly double the cost of similar services in a landbased resort.
Perhaps most disturbing however, is the sales pitch that comes after the massage which completely destroys all the benefits of the process. In fact, the spa will even call you the night before you arrive in port to ask if you want to purchase any spa products.
Overall the negatives are minor, but they can mount up over the time you spend at sea when you are a captive audience. Pay attention, be cautious and enjoy what the cruise line has to offer, without burdening your budget with on-board add-ons.
Then again, there is always the wonderful serendipitous nature of travel which can provide surprise benefits you never considered. In June, the America’s Cup took place in Bermuda. It was a chance to observe one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting challenges in the world, and you could do it from the upper deck of the Norwegian Dawn.
In June, the America’s Cup took place in Bermuda. It was a chance to observe one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting challenges in the world, and you could do it from the upper deck of the Norwegian Dawn.
Land travelers will likely never completely warm to the advantages of cruising, but for people who love to be at sea, NCL’s Bermuda itinerary is a marvelous trip to consider with generally good value for the money.
You won’t be disappointed as you sail the Atlantic from dusk to “Dawn.”
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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