Friday, June 30, 2017

Delightful Bermuda on NCL's Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn arrives at the Naval Dockyard in Bermuda
BERMUDA  There are two types of sea-going cruisers in the world; those who love to be on the water 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.
Bermuda's Royal Navy Dockyard is a happening spot (Taylor)
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.
Life at sea  (Taylor)
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 travelers in this category are seniors which means the on-board entertainment will generally be less active and the ship will be asleep before midnight.

Finally, the third category is destination cruises which include itineraries through the Greek islands, the Baltic or the Mediterranean etc. These ships are usually somewhere in between in the age category and tend, overall, to be more international.
Most ships are glitzy (Taylor)

The most important thing to decide is which category 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, size of the ship, length of the cruise and size of the staterooms.

Cruisers can save money by choosing an inside cabin as opposed to one with a sea view or a balcony.
Life has a different pace in Bermuda  (Taylor)
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.
Free train shuttle runs all day
While this may not sound like important at first, select cruises that are in no more than one port each day. Many Greek cruises, for example, often cram two ports into some of their daily outings. The problem is that there isn't enough time to see anything. A four hour excursion to Mykonos takes time to disembark and re-embark leaving limited opportunities for sightseeing.

If you do two islands in the same day, there is also transit time at sea to reach the second destination.
The dockyard isn't big but it has everything a traveler needs  (Taylor)
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.

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 the benefits of being what cruising is all about.
Clocktower clocks has four
different times (Taylor)

Shipboard activities are in abundance and there is 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 a 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.

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 at home.
Cake decorating is one of
numerous classes (Taylor)
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 all the cruise line has to offer.
The Oracle gets ready to race in the America's Cup  (Taylor) 
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.
Dawn breaks in Bermuda and everything is ship-shape  (Taylor) 
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."