Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Majesty
Sailing Date: July 31st, 2005
My sister, 15 year-old daughter and I traveled to Bermuda 7/31/05 on the Norwegian Majesty. Overall, we had a great time. The staff and service were excellent. The meals in the dining rooms were hit and miss as far as the yummy level goes, but were served quickly and nicely presented. We had to wait to be seated only once. Portions were rather small. One of our biggest complaints was the lack of sufficient seating on the upper decks, where the buffet was served. Probably as a result of chairs being so hard to come by, a family member was often left behind to "guard" 7 chairs while the rest of the family was off doing their thing. Supposedly, a chair unoccupied for 30 mins is considered abandoned, but who can stare at a chair for 30 minutes! Evidently, US Coast Guard regulations limit the number of chairs on deck. Forget about ever getting a chaise or chair and table space during buffet hours. A real problem. It was also impossible to get away from the noise and bedlam on the sun deck. Island music was always playing. Loud. Kids and teens were ear-to-ear in the pool and jacuzzi 24/7. Inexplicably, the "adult" pool was often devoid of water. We never got even close to going in the pools or hot tubs. Don't bother with the drink sticker, either. It would have been impossible to drink that much soda. It was served in small glasses (as opposed to a 12 oz can if you purchased a soda) and must be obtained from a waiter or bartender....no self-service or anything like that. The bartenders were so busy preparing alcoholic drinks, that my lunch was always cold by the time I got my soda. Pack Crystal Light individual packets or a 6-pack of coke instead. The water was good and available (don't bother buying or packing bottled water, either. The on-board water was fine). The departure barbecue on deck on Friday was the best meal! Everything tends to be sauced and adorned with odd flavorings, so the relatively pristine offerings at the barbecue were a welcome change. Fussy eaters might have a problem, but grilled chicken and steamed veggies were always available at dinner. Waiters would also leave off the sauces, if asked.
Expect lots 'n lots of expensive extras. Bingo was only 4 games and usually cost $29 - $39, up to $89. For only 4 games! Drinks were offered often, but never pushed. Enjoyed the shows in the theater. Most activities were geared to produce yet more drink-buying opportunities for the passengers. I found the offering of virgin just-like-mom-and-dad "kiddy drinks" a bit offensive.
In-room TV was nice, two continuous movie channels and our TV accepted my daughter's game cube hook-ups. Comfy beds, great ventilation. We are non-smokers, but our room was not. No smoking odors at all. Our rooms were near the back on the 4th deck, but the engine noise level was very acceptable, except on Saturday night, when the engines must have shifted to a lower gear. Then there was a rather loud rumble and the hangers in the closet shook! Plenty of hot water. The bathroom was small, but serviceable. Could have used more storage. We used a suitcase under the bed as an extra "drawer". No big hardship, though!
Bermuda was beautiful, if a bit more litter-y than I remember from my last visit 20 years ago. Lots of beer bottles left around at Tabacco Bay. Yuk. Socks and tin cans on the ocean floor. Old florescent tube washed up on the beach. How did THAT survive??? Horseshoe Beach was great fun....nice dressing rooms and showers w/fresh water available. Ride to the top for $1 worth it! Busses are friendly and efficient, but be careful which route you choose. One trip from Hamilton to St. George's took over an hour! Ferry is fun and fast, but stops service in early afternoon to St. George's.
We would cruise NCL again, but would not travel during school vacation weeks. Too many unsupervised, unruly kids. Saw one kid lick the spoon and put it back in the ice cream sprinkles! The boat is clean with sufficient staff to keep the tables cleared, etc. Check in was a breeze (we were early) and check out was choreographed for efficiency and speed. No problems at all!