Occupation:Funeral Home Manager
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Crown
Sailing Date: July 16th, 2006
Embark/Disembark - A little slow getting on the ship,
however; the luggage arrived in a timely fashion. Getting off the ship was
amazingly easy! The experience of leaving from the New York harbor was
incredible, even as native New Yorker's, passing by the Statue of Liberty and
under the Verrazano Bridge was very cool.
Ship - I was hesitant about the ship; had heard that it was too small and old and as a result had set the bar very low. This cruise was to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary with our 3 children. The Crown was a fine sailing vessel and easily exceeded all the negative concerns we had previous and provided us with an awesome vacation experience that we would highly recommend to anyone.
Freestyle Dining - has it's good points and bad points. I like the flexibility it provided; however you really never develop any relationships with the wait staff that we did on our last cruise. The food itself was mostly excellent; plentifully available and we could eat whenever and where ever we wanted. Skipped "The Bistro", the Italian restaurant was adequate at best, Chopsticks was fun and we received the best service there than at any other restaurant, the buffet was an easy alternative with good food and the main restaurant "Seven Sea's" was above average (French menu was superb) with a good wine list. The concept is good if you want flexibility in times and dress codes, if you like your formal nights and eating at the same time with the same people every night, it might not be for you. For my family it worked out just fine.
Bermuda - FANTASTIC! Could have done without the last port (Dockyard) as it rained and literally there was nothing to do. The first two ports were beautiful with the classic snorkeling venues and pink sand beaches. Hamilton is the center of the island and provides the best opportunities for sightseeing and entertainment. People were very friendly, and getting on and off The Crown was very easy. We went on two excursions; the "Carriage Ride" in Hamilton was fun and entertaining. The catamaran snorkeling tour was awesome too; we witnessed beautiful fish on immaculate beaches with a very friendly staff. We were lucky to see the birth of squid and I was literally in the middle of "flying fish" due to larger fish in a feeding frenzy right in front of me. Bermuda is the perfect port of call and we would love to go back and visit again tomorrow! Shopping is limited due to the high prices.
Entertainment - first rate for a small ship. Constant activities if you chose to get involved (we did not. The shows were a pleasant surprise even the in-house dancing company. Headliners were an acrobat/comedian named Rudy Macaggi; he was amazing, weird and funny all at the same time. The singer, "The Chocolate Goddess of Love" had an amazing voice full of soul, passion and conviction. My personal favorite was the comedian, a New Yorker named Dave Heenan. The guy was incredibly funny and I would actually pay to see him again. He was funny without being dirty and truly made me laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes. The entertainment was a major surprise and a major plus for both NCL and The Crown.
Staterooms (Inside cabins 5119 & 5121)-Our 2 teenage sons (16 & 14) shared one room while my wife and I with our 8 year old daughter were in the other. The cabin attendant Joseph was excellent. He was very friendly and kept our two rooms immaculate. Only drawback with the room was that if you shut the lights off you could not tell if it was afternoon or night! Size and layout of the rooms was fine and we are pretty big people. Plenty of closet space and storage for the luggage; money saved on the inside rooms compared to rooms with a view almost paid the bar bill!
Teen & Kid's Club - Best feature of the cruise for a married couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. My two sons were in the Teen Club, Laura was very accommodating. The Cruise Director, Clint Wells had the patience of a Saint. All the members of the "Teen Club" followed Clint around the boat like a lost puppy. Clint walked into a room, they were right behind. Clint did his morning TV show, they were on it. Clint was in the Liar's Club, they voted for him every time. Clint was excellent in his role with adults as well and I never notice cruise directors; Clint I noticed for his enthusiasm, patience and willing to do whatever it took to make guests (young and old) have a good time. By the end of the trip my daughter came out of her shell and did the limbo and other dances and made some very nice items in arts and crafts. Great piece of mind provided by excellent people! Do not underestimate this feature if you are traveling with kids; a small boat does not have rock walls and bowling alleys and you need something to keep the kids entertained on sea days. You need an active program with the right people and The Crown provided both.
Pictures - Photographers everywhere, all the time. Bought four pictures, would have bought more if they were less expensive.
Casino - Was too small and smoky. We did not like it, can you tell that I lost my money? At best, will kill some time while at sea!
Art Auction - A very pleasant man was our host; however I cannot make major purchases like this while on vacation.
Overall - wanted to sail out of New York to Bermuda in July. The Crown was our only option and we had heard bad things about the boat. We booked in spite of all this and out of a possible 5 stars, overall I would rate The Crown a solid four easily exceeding all of my expectations. A lovely ship, with a superb staff sailing off to a beautiful destination. No complaints here and I would heartily recommend the ship and port to anyone interested.